Straight “A” students are not usually geniuses, but have learned how to study in a way that makes it look as if they are. They are focused, have set goals, listen attentively and take copious notes. They have learned to be organized, and from my experience are every bit as social as the students who don’t do so well.

What are they doing that most people don’t seem to have a clue to? They did their homework before they did their homework!

Students who succeed in school have learned how to study. It’s not that difficult, but it does take motivation and the desire to be successful. It’s the same in business, those who really want to succeed, and do more than talk about it, are successful. They have the ability to learn and memorize information, recall information, and have worked at their goal without being distracted.

Study skills and memory improvement techniques are important. The first step in improving your grades is the desire to do what it takes to get it done. No one can do it for you, you have to have the ambition and will to make changes in your routine and follow through on them. Be motivated and absorb all the information you can like a sponge.

Study and memory tools that will make a difference in your grades include:

  1. Pay attention. You can’t get it if you aren’t paying attention. If you find yourself distracted you will need to find a way to stay focused and lose the distractions. There are several reasons you can lose attention – poor diet or sleep, stress, not looking directly at the person speaking or concentrating on the reading material in front of you. Poor diet and sleep habits cause your body to shut down and you cannot retain memory for longer than a few minutes. Stress releases cortisol, which impairs memory function and stops our ability to make new memories.  Get enough sleep (7-9 hours a night, especially before a big test); exercise to get your blood circulating (and oxygen to the brain); and eat food high in protein and low in sugar. Sugar levels can affect memory.
  2. Eliminate Distractions. Your brain does not multi-task, and you can’t concentrate on what you are studying with noise like talking and music with words around you (Research has so far not found music without words to be a problem, but words are the distraction). Noise in the background eliminates your brain’s ability to remember.
  3. Learn more than one way to memorize. By changing the way you study, using doing visualization, mnemonics, journals, etc. you alternate your brain waves and your brain is able to process the same information in more than one region. This makes it easier to remember.
  4. Never cram! Few ever remembered the next day what they stayed up all night studying. Memorization is best when done over time. Research has found that if you study your notes when class is over, and then review them over the next few says the reinforcement allows your brain to process the information and put it into long-term memory. Take your time and don’t wait until the last minute to study.
  5. Don’t study when you’re tired. Fatigue is a memory stopper. A busy lifestyle does not promote memory. Don’t study more than 2 –3 hours at a time. Take a break. Walking away for a little while will allow you to have a clearer perspective when you return, and you are refreshed enough to move short-term to long-term memory.

These memory improvement tips will help you improve your memory, and your grades.

From the Desk of Ron White, memory speaker





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